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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 4/16/12

Open Letter -- World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates

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Message Mairead Maguire
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Dear Friends,

I write to let you know that I have decided not to attend the 12th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates on April 23-25, in Chicago, Illinois.  

On April 10, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appeared on video on the US State Department Website announcing plans for the forthcoming Nobel Peace Laureates Summit and said "The US Department of State is proud to be an active partner in this event."

Secretary Clinton gave details of how the US State Department is working with US embassies around the world to bring 20 students and four teachers from four countries to Chicago. She explained that video conferences and portals for live streaming of events will be managed by the US State department.  

I have now decided, with some sadness, not to be associated in this partnership as I do not agree with many of the policies of the US State Department. Indeed I have, as a Nobel Peace Laureate, (and in the spirit of Alfred Nobel) often called for disbandment of NATO, end of militarism and war, and for disarmament and demilitarization.

I cannot therefore, in good conscience, be part of a partnership with the US State Government (NATO). I also believe that my participation in such a partnership would compromise my position and put in jeopardy my work in the Middle East and other countries.   

I am very disappointed that what is a great opportunity for young people, for the Nobel Laureates and organizations to listen, learn, and exchange friendships and experiences, has been, I believe, seriously compromised by such a partnership.

However, I hope it will be an enjoyable and educational summit, particularly for all the young people, and I am deeply saddened not to be with you all. 


Mairead Maguire

Peace People, Northern Ireland

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Mairead Corrigan-Maguire was awarded the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize for her extraordinary actions to help end the deep ethnic/political conflict in her native Northern Ireland. She shares the award with Betty Williams.

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